10 min 24 sec

Operations Manager Manages to Make Heavy Furniture Light

A Maine university employee uses her logistical savvy to deliver IKEA enthusiasts their goods at greatly reduced rates.
Customer Service Delivery Service Unique Ideas

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What It's About

An IKEA furniture delivery service that brings in an additional $800-2,000/month for a busy university employee.

Business Model
Skills Required
Logistics & Business Savvy
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

For anyone else who wants to build a business Peg’s way, she suggests some things that smack of the IKEA ethic: build it logically, so the parts fit into the whole. You’ve got to have a solid website that clearly details the process of selection, ordering, and fulfillment. She’s big on getting a SCORE mentor—a nonprofit that counsels small businesses—to help you understand the scope of your operation.

Fun Fact

IKEA was founded in Sweden in 1943 by 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad. The IKEA acronym is a formation of Ingvar’s initials, plus those of Elmtaryd, the farm where he grew up, and Agunnaryd, his hometown in southern Sweden.

Notes from Chris

Episode 145

The joys and perils of assembling IKEA furniture has furnished plenty of joke fodder for late-night comedians, but the company is beloved by the DIY set for its inexpensive, durable goods. However, getting the goods, often packaged in large, heavy boxes, is challenge enough. When the store is hours away, the weight of the burden doubles.

Peg knew from experience: her own trek to get to IKEA’s Portland, Maine location took almost 5 hours total. But shipping rates could drive an IKEA customer crazy too:  they start at $229 for flat-pack delivery or oversize items. Their most popular item, a Billy bookcase that retails for $70, costs three times that to have it delivered to Maine. That’s like building a bookcase out of credit cards.

The hustle came to Peg in a flash: while wrapping up a meeting at the university, she mentioned she was going to IKEA. When people quickly asked if she could pick something up for them, Peg instantly saw the angle. She used her operations management moxie to size it up: she figured she could drive to IKEA, charge a 25% delivery fee to save people money and make a bit on the side. Sven Delivers was born!

Operations management experience has extended benefits: Peg signed up with Squarespace, designed and published her delivery business website, and, targeting young families and moms, started posting on Facebook and Facebook yard sale sites, as well as using Facebook advertising.


  • Sven Delivers: Learn more about Peg and her unique delivery service on her website
  • Squarespace: The platform that Peg used to launch Sven Delivers
  • Facebook Advertising: Find the right people, capture their attention, and get results
  • PayPal: The money exchanging service Peg used when she started to accept orders on social media
  • IKEA: The Swedish furniture store that Peg delivers the goods from

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


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Quote of the Day
"Who doesn't love IKEA products? We even deliver their cinnamon buns, chocolate, coffee and frozen Swedish meatballs."
—Peg Donovan #SideHustleSchool

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Chris Guillebeau